With a weak federal government and a nascent maritime authority, “Somalia is not yet a country that can necessarily enforce its laws or international laws at sea,” Walker said.
Where do the two countries go from here?
The court ruling adds to a long list of challenges that are already testing relations between Kenya and Somalia.
Last December, Mogadishu severed diplomatic relations with Nairobi after accusing it of interfering in its internal affairs, only to re-establish them in May.
For its part, Kenya kicked out Somali lawmakers and, at one point, suspended direct flights from Somalia to Nairobi.
Somalia has also ended visas on arrival for Kenyan citizens and banned the import of Kenyan khat, a mildly stimulating leaf that brings millions of dollars to the Kenyan economy.
To ease future tensions, experts say the two countries could look to the African Union or other regional bodies in an attempt to chart a way forward, said Abdimalik Abdullahi, an independent researcher in Mogadishu.
“It can be done,” he said, “by creating technical committees that could address other outstanding issues, with leaders maintaining contact and channels of communication, and by avoiding unilateral military activity in these areas. waters ”.